In my boys' book Zen Shorts, there is a story within the story that goes something like this:
A man's horse runs away. Everyone in his village is like, "Aw, man. That sucks!" The man says, "Maybe."The horse comes back and brings two more horses with him. Everyone is like, "Woohoo!" The man says, "Maybe."The man's son tries to ride one of the new horses and it throws him to the ground and he breaks his leg. Everyone: "Bummer!" Man: "Maybe."Army recruiters come through town to draft young men for war. They can't take the man's son because of his broken leg...
You get the drift.
I couldn't help but think about this story the other day when something (potentially) great happened as a result of something (possibly) terrible.
Several weeks ago our stroller was stolen from our front porch. It was the stroller I bought when I was pregnant with Liam after many trimesters of research and I loved it. It was orange! And different! And the most expensive baby item I've EVER had the balls to buy!
Cool orange stroller, $350. (Adorable baby not for sale.)
Naturally I was a little bummed when it disappeared. But it was getting up there in years and we had talked once or twice about getting ourselves a running stroller. Maybe this was a good opportunity for us to get Finn his very own ride?
So I hopped on Craigslist to see what was out there but nothing really caught my eye. I trolled around online a bit but every site was showing me the same thing: strollers are expensive. Suddenly I was pissed. Why did I have to shell out the big bucks for a new stroller when I already had a perfectly good one that I loved? Or at least I did before some butt head stole it from me. Who does that anyway? As charming as it would be to picture a desperate young mother doing whatever she had to do to take care of her baby, I was pretty sure my stroller was in the hands of someone much less savory. Like a scrap metal picker or a crack whore. I mean, yes, it would be slightly entertaining to see this person cruising down the street with my Bumbleride Flyer, but it still ticked me off.
I checked Craigslist again (like you do...) and then gave eBay a shot. Sure, I'd have to pay shipping but it might be worth it if I could find a really good deal. But it had been a while since I bought anything auction-style and I felt a little rusty. I needed to get my juices flowing. So I found a stroller that no one had bid on and typed in the minimum price. No research, no shopping around, just a starting bid to get warmed up.
I learned this technique from my parents. It's how they accidentally bought a slot machine at an auction when I was a kid. They were practice-bidding so that when the snow tires they really wanted came up, they'd be ready. But no one outbid them so, cha-ching!, we had a slot machine in our living room. You would think I'd learn the opposite lesson from that one but this was eBay not some crappy casino auction. Apples and oranges, baby. Apples and oranges...
I imagine you're not terribly surprised that I won the stroller. Bummer? Maybe. But at least it wasn't a slot machine.
By the time the stroller showed up at my house and I finally figured out how to inflate the damn tires (a saga of epic proportions), I had almost completely forgotten about all the ups and downs it took to get me here. I actually really liked my new stroller. It was a super-smooth ride and the sun shade could be adjusted, something I always wished my Bumbleride could do. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all?
And then something incredible happened. I went for a run. Okay, maybe it was more of a run/walk but there was definitely running involved. You guys - I haven't run in years. Could it be that all I needed was the right equipment? I mean, I do like to dress the part you know. Maybe the scrap picking crack whore who stole my stroller gave me the gift of fitness in return? What seemed like a costly infringement on my personal property might just have been the greatest thing to happen to my cardiovascular health since I was able to get to Zumba every week (Finn hates the Y). Maybe now that I had a running stroller I could become an actual runner?!
My heart says yes; my knees say maybe.